There are many comedy websites on the Internet devoted to displaying large connections of photographs of signs and other things, such as menus and instruction leaflets that are examples of very bad translations. These are usually from various languages which are translated into English, although there are probably websites in China with examples of poor translations into Chinese as well. Whilst a lot of these are very amusing it is always worth remembering that there is a back story to each of these badly translated examples. They all represent a business and at some point in that business’s life, somebody took a decision not to use a professional translation company, and instead to do it themselves or ask somebody who knew a little English to do it.

Although these signs are amusing, it is in nobody’s interest to find your company’s literature on one of them one day. Not only that there is also the possible embarrassment of something looking or sounding quite ridiculous to people who are reading it. Remember that people reading material you put out in other languages will often be seeing this as the major image of your company. It is your company’s reputation on the line here and it is well worth the expense of getting decent and well respected translation services for both your document translation and your website translation. It is probably nothing like as expensive as you may expect it to be and if it stops your company appearing as a daily mistranslation comedy posting, or stops your customers being completely confused and judging you as completely unprofessional, then it should be worth every penny for the little extra effort.

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